Experience, Engage, Work in the Humanities  

Our Mission

The challenges of the 21st century demand humanistic thought. Leaders and citizens must integrate information from diverse fields to forge creative solutions in collaboration with others, and implement them with moral concern for the lives they affect. Accordingly, 21st-century liberal arts education must be centered on: interdisciplinarity, fostering flexible understanding that bridges disciplines; collaboration, developing skills of listening and communication that enable creative cooperation; and community, cultivating empathy and ethical sensitivity for others. With these as our core principles, the Humanities Initiative at F&M promotes humanistic inquiry as the core of liberal arts education for the 21st century, via initiatives that foster humanistic thought and demonstrate the relevance of the humanities throughout students’ undergraduate experience and faculty members’ intellectual lives. 

The Humanities Initiative Student Advisory Board

The Humanities Initiative at F&M welcomes and encourages student participation.  The Student Advisory Board provides a vehicle for  interested F&M students to directly engage in leadership of Humanities-related activities at F&M, as well as to provide the student voice and perspective for the Humanities Initiative Co-Directors.  More information about the board is available here.   

Humanities Initiative Co - Directors (2019)

Lee Franklin, Associate Professor of Philosophy - lee.franklin@fandm.edu

Jon Stone, Associate Professor of Russian and Russian Studies - jon.stone@fandm.edu

Humanities Initiative Student Advisors (2019)

Esmeralda Rodriguez ('19), Moises Soto-Brito ('21 ), Rachel Strompf ('21)

 

 

 

We recognize that in whatever path of life students choose, the ability to understand differing values, identify conflicts in thinking and reasoning, and find answers to complex questions is essential for cultivating qualities of innovation and leadership.

That's why we emphasize study in intimate classes, with the student-to-faculty ratio in some humanities majors, such as philosophy, as small as 5:1. And we also offer opportunities for field study and research that students might usually expect to pursue in the sciences or other fields. Students at F&M experience and engage with the questions that students elsewhere might only read about.

This is part of the distinctiveness  in our approach to the humanities. Study at F&M spans the full range of study of human culture and the human experience, from classical archaeology to literature, to philosophy and cultural studies, and through languages.

 

Humanities Majors:  Professionally Prepared and Career-Ready

F&M embraces the principle that students who are linguistically, intellectually and culturally equipped to communicate successfully are better prepared to thrive in our multicultural society, both in the United States and around the world.  Recent studies bear this out, showing humanities majors excelling across a variety of academic, career and life skill measures. Use the links below to further explore the many benefits of studying the humanities. 

Humanities Majors Today, Field Leaders Tomorrow!

Prominent leaders with a background in the humanities can be found in every sector of business and industry today.   Explore the links below to see more from a few who credit their career success to their studies in the humanities.   The  National Humanities Alliance website  curates an ever-expanding list with additional names of humanities graduates at the top of their respective fields.

  • Business and Finance

    Business and Finance Image

    “I never had finance or accounting, yet I help run a huge business. I learned communications, research, and critical thinking."  Clyde Tuggle, Senior Vice President and Chief Public Affairs Officer of Coca-Cola, speaking about his undergraduate degrees in German and Economics, and his Master's of Divinity. 

     

  • Government and International Relations

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    California Governor Jerry Brown,  who holds a B.A. in Classics, notes the value of  studying and understanding the humanities as "...windows on what it is to be human."  

  • Media and Entertainment

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    "One of the many things I learned at the end of that Classics corridor down which I ventured at the age of 18, in search of something I could not then define, was this, written by the Greek author Plutarch: ‘What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.’ That is an astonishing statement and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It expresses, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other people’s lives simply by existing."  -Author J.K. Rowling,  B.A. in Classics and French

  • Philanthropic / Non Profit Sector

    Philanthropic / Non Profit Sector Image

    “Spend the time to ask yourself who you can get who can be better than you. Constantly look for new ideas, new eyes, new perspectives.” Andrea Jung,  President and CEO of Grameen America, former CEO of Avon, B.A. in English Literature.

  • Science, Medicine and Research

    Science, Medicine and Research Image

    "The difference between science and the arts is not that they are different sides of the same coin...or even different parts of the same continuum, but rather, they are manifestations of the same thing.  The arts and sciences are avatars of human creativity."  - Mae Jemison,  Physician and Astronaut, B.A. in African and Afro-American Studies

  • Technology

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    “Studying philosophy taught me two things. I learned how to write really clearly. I learned how to follow an argument all the way down, which is invaluable in running meetings." - Philosophy major Stewart Butterfield, Co-Founder of Flickr and Slack Technologies  

     

  • F&M Graduates

    F&M Graduates Image

    • Former counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives, Stan Brand, graduated with a major in English.
    • Actor Treat Williams, of the TV series "Heartland" and "Everwood" majored in Drama, now configured as a major in Theatre.
     

The Humanities in Practice at F&M

Story 3/19/2019

Mystery Uncovered in NEH Research on Modern Italy and Jews

His research on the experience of Italian Jews as a way of understanding Italian modernization in the 19th century took him from Florence in the Tuscan region to Rome and the Holy See’s secret...

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Story 3/8/2019

The Barriers to Sharing African Women’s Stories

When it comes to telling stories, Tsitsi Dangargembga, a Zimbabwean author, filmmaker and activist, chooses to shine a light on the narratives of one of the most marginalized populations in the world...

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Story 3/7/2019

A Seat in the Orchestra and a Spot on the Rugby Team

Coming to F&M, I knew I'd have to audition for a music ensemble to continue my cello career. Likewise, I had to compete for a spot on the rugby team. I was afraid because I knew college music...

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Story 2/25/2019

Bank Prize Author Finds the Story’s Essence in Imperfection

In the catalog entry of one of the writing courses she teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, short-story author Carolyn Ferrell asks in the synopsis, “How do we, as writers, transform lived experiences...

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Story 2/15/2019

Sexton Speaks to the Ineffable Moments in Faith and Baseball

You know you’re experiencing a unique campus event when a speaker’s story culminates in a description of how a metal crucifix chipped his tooth.  

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Story 2/13/2019

The Crucible in Student-Directed ‘Kingdom City’

For the student-directed, main-stage production in F&M's Theatre Department, the directors and cast chose “Kingdom City,” a dark comedy about a high-school performance of playwright Arthur Miller’s “...

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March 23
event 3/23/2019

A Reading with Raquel Salas Rivera

Writers House Reading Room

Raquel Salas Rivera is the 2018-19 Poet Laureate of Philadelphia. They are the author of while they...

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March 25
event 3/25/2019

Career Talk with Bridget McNulty

Writers House Reading Room

 Bridget McNulty ‘05 is a published author, content strategist, creative director and writer with a...

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March 26
event 3/26/2019

Nancy Berg - Hebrew, Sushi, and Bad Tattoos

Klehr Multipurpose Room One 1st Floor

Nancy E. Berg, is professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at Washington University, and a...

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March 27
event 3/27/2019

Noon in the Nissley

Nissley Gallery

Please join us for Noon in the Nissley every 2nd and 4th Wednesday each month from January 30 to...

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